1961 Open Championship

The 1961 Open Championship was the 90th Open Championship, played 12–15 July at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. Arnold Palmer won the first of two consecutive Open Championships, one stroke ahead of Dai Rees.[1] It was the second Open for Palmer, the runner-up in his first in 1960, and the fourth of his seven major titles. He was the first American to win the Claret Jug since Ben Hogan in 1953. This was the second Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, which hosted in 1954.

1961 Open Championship
Tournament information
Dates12–15 July 1961
LocationSouthport, England
Course(s)Royal Birkdale Golf Club
Statistics
Par72 [1]
Length6,844 yards (6,258 m)
Field108 players, 48 after cut[2]
Cut153 (+9)
Prize fund£8,500
$23,800
Winner's share£1,400
$3,920
Champion
United States Arnold Palmer
284 (−4)
← 1960
1962 →
Southport is located in England
Southport
Southport
Location in England

Qualifying took place on 10–11 July. Entries played 18 holes on the Championship course and 18 holes at Hillside Golf Club. The number of qualifiers was limited to a maximum of 120. Ties for 120th place would not qualify. The qualifying score was 151 and 108 players qualified. There were 22 players on 152. Bob Charles led the qualifiers on 136, two ahead of Gary Player.[3][4][5] A maximum of 50 players could make the cut after 36 holes. Ties for 50th place did not make the cut.

Gale-force winds caused scores to soar during the second round on Thursday,[6] followed by heavy rains which washed out both rounds on Friday.[7] Cancellation was a possibility, but the weather cooperated enough to play the third and fourth rounds in showers on Saturday.[1][8]

1959 Open champion and reigning Masters champion Gary Player withdrew early in the third round due to a stomach ailment.[1]

Past champions in the fieldEdit

Made the cutEdit

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 R3 R4 Total To par Finish
Kel Nagle   Australia 1960 68 75 75 71 289 +1 T5
Peter Thomson   Australia 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 75 72 70 73 290 +2 7
Henry Cotton   England 1934, 1937, 1948 76 77 74 77 304 +16 T32
Gary Player   South Africa 1959 73 77 WD

Missed the cutEdit

Player Country Year(s) won R1 R2 Total To par
Dick Burton   England 1939 80 77 157 +13
Bobby Locke   South Africa 1949, 1950, 1952, 1957 75 84 159 +15

Round summariesEdit

First roundEdit

Wednesday, 12 July 1961

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Harold Henning   South Africa 68 −4
Kel Nagle   Australia
Dai Rees   Wales
T4 Jean Garaïalde   France 69 −3
Norman Johnson   England
David Miller   England
T7 Alan Brookes   South Africa 70 −2
Neil Coles   England
Sam King   England
John MacDonald   Scotland
Arnold Palmer   United States
Lionel Platts   England

Second roundEdit

Thursday, 13 July 1961

Place Player Country Score To par
T1 Harold Henning   South Africa 68-74=142 −2
Dai Rees   Wales 68-74=142
T3 Kel Nagle   Australia 68-75=143 −1
Arnold Palmer   United States 70-73=143
T5 Neil Coles   England 70-77=147 +3
Sam King   England 70-77=147
Ramón Sota   Spain 71-76=147
Peter Thomson   Australia 75-72=147
T9 Peter Alliss   England 73-75=148 +4
Ken Bousfield   England 71-77=148
Harry Bradshaw   Ireland 73-75=148
Peter Butler   England 72-76=148
Eric Lester   England 71-77=148
David Miller   England 69-79=148
Christy O'Connor Snr   Ireland 71-77=148
Dave Thomas   Wales 71-77=148
Brian Wilkes   South Africa 72-76=148

Amateurs: Christmas (+6), White (+6), Chapman (+11), Bonallack (+15), Carr (+17), Reece (+18), Pearson (+25)

Third roundEdit

Saturday, 15 July 1961 - (morning)

Place Player Country Score To par
1 Arnold Palmer   United States 70-73-69=212 −4
2 Dai Rees   Wales 68-74-71=213 −3
3 Christy O'Connor Snr   Ireland 71-77-67=215 −1
4 Neil Coles   England 70-77-69=216 E
T5 Harold Henning   South Africa 68-74-75=217 +1
Peter Thomson   Australia 75-72-70=217
7 Kel Nagle   Australia 68-75-75=218 +2
T8 Eric Brown   Scotland 73-76-70=219 +3
Norman Johnson   England 69-80-70=219
Ramón Sota   Spain 71-76-72=219

Final roundEdit

Saturday, 15 July 1961 - (afternoon)

Place Player Country Score To par Money (£)
1 Arnold Palmer   United States 70-73-69-72=284 −4 1,400
2 Dai Rees   Wales 68-74-71-72=285 −3 1,000
T3 Neil Coles   England 70-77-69-72=288 E 710
Christy O'Connor Snr   Ireland 71-77-67-73=288
T5 Eric Brown   Scotland 73-76-70-70=289 +1 400
Kel Nagle   Australia 68-75-75-71=289
7 Peter Thomson   Australia 75-72-70-73=290 +2 275
T8 Peter Alliss   England 73-75-72-71=291 +3 190
Ken Bousfield   England 71-77-75-68=291
T10 Harold Henning   South Africa 68-74-75-76=293 +5 140
Syd Scott   England 76-75-71-71=293

Amateurs: White (+18), Christmas (+20)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Palmer takes British crown". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. 16 July 1961. p. 1B.
  2. ^ "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. pp. 75, 203–8. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Player's controlled power an Open golf hint - Charles leading qualifier". The Times. 12 July 1961. p. 12.
  4. ^ "Palmer fires opening 71 in British Open tourney". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. 10 July 1961. p. 3B.
  5. ^ "Trick-shooting Ezar fires 70". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. 11 July 1961. p. 3B.
  6. ^ "Palmer trailing by one in British". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 14 July 1961. p. 15.
  7. ^ "British weather may halt open tourney". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 15 July 1961. p. 9.
  8. ^ Longhurst, Henry (24 July 1961). "Arnie gets the one he wanted". Sports Illustrated. p. 20. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
1961 U.S. Open
Major Championships Succeeded by
1961 PGA Championship

Coordinates: 53°37′19″N 3°01′59″W / 53.622°N 3.033°W / 53.622; -3.033